Kelley Polar began his musical studies at the age of three with stack of LPs, a plastic Fisher-Price turntable
and his six-year-old, disco-loving sister. Lessons in piano, violin and finally viola followed, the latter
becoming his passion and primary musical vehicle. At 18, Polar was a prizewinner at the William Primrose International Viola Competition, followed by an infamous tenure at Oberlin Conservatory. By the mid nineties, Polar found himself in New York City pursuing an advanced degree at the illustrious Juilliard
School and cementing his reputation for general deviance.
Fate introduced a chance meeting in 1998 with Morgan Geist, head of the Environ record label. Geist and partner Darshan Jesraniwere deep into the production of their first Metro Area record, and aware the duo were seeking live strings to complete the germination of their signature sound, Polar gamely assembled a group of Juilliard players and dubbed the group Kelley Polar Quartet. KPQ would eventually be heard on some of Metro Areas biggest tracks Miura, Caught Up and Dance Reaction, to name but a few and even made the occasional surprise appearance in the groups live performances.
It wasnt long before Polar determined that his Quartet should strike outwith an original venture, and while
some influence of Metro Areas style was evident, Polars mix of western classical theory coupled with
ignorance of current dance music trends made his early Environ records capture listeners imaginations.
The inaugural solo Kelley PolarQuartet 12 (Audition EP, 2002) was the buzz of taste-making DJs the world over, and with the subsequent EPs (Recital EP and Rococo EP), Kelley PolarQuartet became a wellregarded name among discerning spinners, record buyers and journalists by 2004.
Around this time, Polar was expelled from Juilliard, and despite his flourishing recording career, he decided
he could no longer handle his self-destructive city lifestyle.He returned to the countryside of his youth and
began playing chamber music under an assumed name in rural New Hampshire.
It was in this rural setting that Polar found himself as a solo artist. Dropping the Quartet suffix from his
name, he began exploring taut song ideas rooted more in idealistic pop than the pulsing floors of nightclubs. After a yearlong exile, Polar returned to New York in summer 2005 to mix his debut album, Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens,with Morgan Geist.Released the following autumn, Love Songs received
an incredible response from listeners and critics alike. Spin magazine praised the album as romantic, no gravity dance pop; The New Yorker called it an ambitious new age disco record; the Chicago Reader voted it Best Music of 2005 as did Stylus Magazines Best Records of 2005. A live European festival tour in 2006 connected Polar with his fans and further cemented the albums staying power; indeed,
Pitchfork described the album in May 2007 as one of 2005s great unsung gems.
Source: Artist Site